Feb 2, 2016

February 3rd, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen



We had pancakes the other day and they were so good! One of the other volunteers decided to make French toast with the leftover syrup, which inspired me to do the same. I went all out and had French toast, leftover egg casserole (complete with chicken, tomatoes, onions, and peas), and coffee for breakfast…and boy was it delicious! I definitely needed a break from oatmeal and protein bars.


We had our weekly lecture on meningitis this morning. It was good to have a reminder of the different organisms that cause meningitis as well as the treatments for it that are available here. Afterwards, we rounded as usual.


During rounds, one family was transporting their family member home; he had a stroke 1 week ago and was not improving, and they finally decided to take him home. Another man who was in a motorcycle accident and had a c-spine injury decided that he wanted to be taken home; we were trying to arrange transport to a larger hospital with neurosurgery capabilities (since he has massive paralysis), but he insisted on going home despite the risks to his health…even further paralysis or death. As I was trying to explain the risks to him and his family (via a nurse translator) he said that the patient still wanted to go home; so I arranged for the chaplain to come see him before he leaves. I wanted to tell the patient that travel home (especially on the back of a motorcycle, which was his idea) would likely be impossible, and could worsen the injury…even causing death. The nurse refused to tell him that he may die; here death is not talked about and not planned for…it comes and people deal with it. Here, the chaplains are the ones who discuss sensitive issues like death. I think it is great to have the spiritual support when talking about the possible death of a patient and grief with the family members.


The kid from last night with the hand injury was looking great this morning! I was so happy to see him smiling! Another little boy wanted to be discharged so badly, but he still had spiking fevers every night. I told his mom that it was too dangerous for them to go home today, but I promised to bring him back something to do. After rounds, the volunteers had lunch together. Then, I went back to the hospital and handed out coloring books and crayons along with balls to all the kids; they loved it! It is great to spread joy (and takes only a small effort on our part).


Recently, I finished reading this book “The Same Kind of Different as Me.” Which tells the story of how two strangers from two completely different worlds (one a rich, white art dealer, and the other a poor black homeless man) come together, teach other, and in the end become best friends. It is a great read. It made me think about the simple ways that I too can genuinely show Christ’s love to others who are different from me (or even who are the same as me). How can you show His love to others this week?


I am so thankful for all your kind words and prayers. This work is both exhausting and fulfilling at the same time; the patients are incredible and the workers are great. I pray that as I work, I am working for the Lord…and that others will see Christ in me.